Eames Preserve – a really cold morning!

Eames preserve is located on Harbourton Woodsville Rd in Pennington.

Link to trail map and preserve information.

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The weather has been quite chilly. But after weeks of confinement inside the house with sick kids and obligations, I began to feel claustrophobic. I rarely poke around my home or office in an attempt to find something new.  Usually, I am just trying to “unsee” the mess. But even when it is 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside, I am happy to spend time in the woods peering around rocks and turning over logs. There are always some fun new things to discover just beyond the bend of a trail.

It has been six months since I last visited the Sourland’s Eames Preserve.  I used to work on a research project at Eames and I have been there more times than I care to remember, yet I had not explored my way through the entire preserve. When I was working, I would hike to the designated research area and then hike directly out again. Today, the woods at Eames were calling for a deeper exploration.

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A small mushroom with frost emerging from both sides.

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This may be the hoof print of a deer superimposed upon the paw print of a dog. It seems to be the most logical explanation.

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It appears that this coyote devoured another furry creature.

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Although I am really not a fan of the cold weather, I must admit that these frozen puddles are beautiful!

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Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, is still holding onto its final blooms from 2018. It reminds me of how we like to believe that we start the New Year fresh with a clean slate, but in reality, we all still carry remnants of the past.

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This bench is situated at the halfway point of the loop. I can imagine hiking here with my family in the summer time and having a picnic. The boys will love to play in the stream!

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A burl! These abnormal growths on trees can be caused by many different things such as an injury or a disease. As the tree grows, generally so does the burl. The burls are not detrimental to the trees, but since burls are prized by woodworkers, they sometimes poach the burls from live trees. Depending upon the size and location, removal of the burl can be catastrophic to the living tree.

Read more about woodworking with tree burls here! I recommend a google image search of “Woodworking Tree Burls”.

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These leaves were frozen in a little vernal pool.

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Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica, leaves peeking out through the leaf litter. These little ones most likely sprouted during the warm spell we had two weeks ago but unfortunately with this really cold weather, they will not make it to bloom.

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I wasn’t able to take a picture that truly captured what I was seeing here. These Wineberry canes, Rubus phoenicolasius, were glowing in the understory. I am looking forward to all their berries this spring!

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A bleeding canker.  There are a couple of things that can cause bleeding cankers, but usually it is either a species of Phytophthora (root rot fungus) or bacterial wet wood.

 

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